The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of BASF superabsorbents in indirect food contact packaging. The superabsorbent to be used in this application is manufactured and sold worldwide by BASF under the brand name Luquasorb® FP 800. The authorization covers packaging for poultry, meat, fish as well as fruit and vegetables. How it works: superabsorbents absorb leaking liquids such as traces of blood or watery juices and bind them. This makes the food, some of which is very delicate, stay fresh longer and look more attractive.
High-performance superabsorbent granules can be incorporated as a filler in the manufacture of soaker pads used in packaging. Its ability to absorb large volumes of liquid means only small amounts of superabsorbent are necessary. This helps to make the packaging economical. Even thin pads can reliably absorb liquids from foods. Disposal is not a problem: used pads can simply be thrown in the household garbage.
Superabsorbents are crosslinked polyacrylates that can absorb and bind huge amounts of liquid: up to 500 times their weight. Their main area of application is in the manufacture of hygiene products. They are also used in many industrial applications, such as for thickening or absorbing liquid waste or as water-blocking coatings for underwater cables. Superabsorbents do not even release absorbed liquids under pressure; plant roots, on the other hand, can absorb the water stored in superabsorbents slowly and evenly, which is why superabsorbents are increasingly being used for water storage purposes in the earth or in special plant soil.